'˜Thousands' of job losses feared at Wilko stores

The union for Wilko workers has issued a statement regarding redundancies at the company.

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001
News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174846001

In it, the GMB states it is ‘hopeful’ that the number of job losses can be ‘reduced significantly from the thousands initially feared’.

The statement, it confirms, follows talks with company bosses on July 14 after the announcement of a ‘shake-up’ across the UK’s 400 stores.

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Gary Carter, GMB National Officer, said: “This was the first of many discussions we will have with the company during the 60 day consultation.

“We will be having further, difficult conversations during the process.

“We’ve had people on the phone to us in tears – people who have been with the company 20 or 30 years.

“We all want to see Wilko as thriving, sustainable business with a long term future.

“It is vital GMB helps the company keep any job losses to an absolute minimum.

“It is important to ensure adequate staffing levels in their stores to maintain an acceptable level of customer service – and to make sure Wilko staff are paid the living wage.

“We are encouraging Wilko to look at alternative ways to save money, which protect existing job roles.

“It’s a hazy picture at the moment, but we will be looking at each store individually with Wilko.

“There are going to be redundancies, but we are very confident these can be reduced significantly from the thousands initially feared.”

The news has been linked, by GMB, to the company’s pre-tax figures which are reported to have fallen ‘80 per cent to £5.1 million in the year up to 28 January’.

A spokesman for Wilkos said: “We can confirm that the proposed changes means that we are talking to 3900 members of our store supervisory team about our new in store management structure.

“We can also confirm that we are introducing over 1000 new senior supervisor roles and a significant amount of customer service roles as we re-invest back into our teams to deliver an enhanced customer experience in store.”

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